Northeast Ohio Medical Conference Includes Treatment Innovations for Sports Concussions and Alzheimer's

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by David C. Barnett

New treatment methods for sports concussions are part of the agenda for a healthcare conference in Cleveland, this week. The 13th annual Medical Innovation Summit will have a prime focus on issues that impact the brain and nervous system --- ranging from head trauma to Alzheimer's disease. 

This year's Summit is titled "Memory. Mood. Movement."  Brain-related therapies will be a major focus of discussion at the Cleveland Convention Center, with associated technology on display at the Global Center for Heath Innovation, next door.  One session features a panel exploring new ways to diagnose and treat concussions in professional football.  That discussion will include former players, NFL executives, and Abbott researcher Beth McQuiston. She says, in the past, treatment was based on unreliable patient interviews and inprecise brain scans.  A blood test is now in development to help detect mild brain injury through a portable device.

"We have blood tests for the heart," she notes. "And we have blood tests for the pancreas, for the kidneys, for the liver.  As a neurologist, I'd say it's time we had some for the brain."

Other topic areas at the Summit include new approaches for treating Alzheimer's, and the impact of wearable technology --- like Fit Bits --- on healthcare. 

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